Saturday, August 02, 2008

Good Bay Sunshine

Boston did "hold on" for the 12-2 win.

I feel like I should say something more eloquent about the departure of Mr. Ramirez. Obviously, the post-Manny era is working out pretty well for us so far, but attention, as the saying goes, should be paid.

I've been following the Red Sox since 1978, and Manny gave me a thrill, when he came to the plate, I haven't felt since Jim Rice on a hot streak. He had the power of Rice along with the batting eye and patience of a Wade Boggs, and during his prime, he was about as dangerous a hitter as you can imagine. He was an almost decent fielder at the beginning of his Red Sox career, helped by the small left field in Fenway, but he also managed to gun down more than a few unwary runners trying to sneak into second. He never seemed to get the Yaz trick of baiting guys into digging for second, but he got his share. I never used to read the same stories you used to see about Yaz and Rice taking ball after ball off the Wall to learn every rivet and seam.

That being said, Manny was a child. A selfish little boy who threw tantrums for various reasons, and this season actually got into a physical tiff with the team's elderly traveling secretary. Though no one but him will ever know, at times he seemed to phone it in on the field, not running out grounders or trying as hard as he could at times.

Tempestous and talented beyond all reason, Manny was a distinctive presence. I will miss him in some ways, and not miss him at all in others.

O Canada! (Game 111)

And yes, I do indeed plan to make puns on Jason Bay's name and his ancestry until he stops winning games for us.

Thanks for asking.

Thanks to first inning homers from Kevin Youkilis and new friend Jason Bay, Boston jumped out to a 5-0 lead off of Dana "Cl" Eveland. A third inning rally featuring a bases loaded double from Farmer Jed and a double from Jason "Night of the Living Catchers" Varitek chased Eveland in favor of old friend Lenny Di Nardo, and Boston now leads 10-2. America's Sweetheart, Jon Lester, appears to be cruising.

Assuming our bullpen can hold an 8 run lead, the Yankees won and the Rays are winning. That leaves us at status quo- 3 behind Tampa, 2 1/2 up on New York. Which, given the dog's breakfast of an offense we've had, is not as bad as it could be.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Bay State (Manny Who?) (Game 110)

Jason Newkid, our new Canadian outfielder, ripped a 12th inning triple, scoring on a single by Farmer Jed to score his second Red Sox run and secure his first Red Sox win, 2-1 over the Oakland Athletics. 5 2/3 innings of 3 hit, 1 run ball from the underwhelming bullpenners, another strong outing from's all good.

So it was the Athletics, shut up. It still counts.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So....anything new?

I was deeply engrossed at work all day today, so it is just now I am learning that one Manuel Aristides Ramirez, the puzzle of talent, humor, attitude, and surliness who made the phrase "Manny being Manny" a household word, the Bad Man his own self, is a Los Angeles Dodger.

Boston sends away Ramirez, reliever Craig Hansen (aka 'Ol Sleepyhead), and outfielder Brandon (Rolling Stone Gathers No) Moss, and recieves in return Jason (Sitting in the Dock of the) Bay. As I said last night, Bay is maybe 85% of the hitter Ramirez is, but a much better runner, fielder, and attitude.

On the field, both Tampa and Boston were idle, and New York lost, so Boston is 3 back of Tampa and 1 1/2 ahead of New York.

How do I feel about it?

Boston had made it pretty clear they were letting Manny go at the end of the season. Manny, in turn, made it clear he thought he deserved better. Manny not only said he wasn't happy, he also showed he wasnt happy by, fairly clearly, not running out groundballs.

There are a lot of issues here. At what point do different rules for stars become indulgences? Is the loss of Manny's HOF bat made up for by the defensive and attitudinal gains?

We shall see.

I was going to say something else, but I forgot what it is.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who is Jason Bay?

Jason Bay is a moderately talented outfielder, who has been toiling in obscurity for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Aside from being easy to nickname (Jason "The Pirate" Bay, Jason "Sittin on the Dock of the" Bay), he is a few years younger than Manny, a better fielder than Manny, and maybe 85% of the hitter that Manny is.

But he's not Manny.

He is not the Bad Man.

I don't think anyone knows whether or not Bay will be the same October hitter that Manny is, since Bay, I don't believe, has ever played in a postseason game.

Say what you will about the Bad Man. He's been a handful, but he could hit, when it counted, like nobody's business. A monster.

BTW, Fernando Rodney just gave up a homer to Kelly Shoppach to blow a save, so maybe that helps explain their Kyle Farnsworth lust. But still, he's Kyle Farnsworth! What do you expect him to be other than Kyle Farnsworth?

Now back to reality

Buzzed on my whiff of Little Boy Smell(TM), back to reality.

If it is true that we offered Manny Delcarmen and got turned down in favor of Kyle Farnsworth, then I think drug testing needs to be instituted immediately in the Detroit front office. I don't see how Kyle Farnsworth helps you more than Manny Delcarmen. Delcarmen has better stuff and is younger and cheaper. Big, big steal for the Yankees. Ivan is not the Ivan of 10 years ago, (who among us is), but he is sure better than the starting catcher in either Boston or New York, even at his age.

The rumor that is making the rounds is a 3 team megillah with Florida, Pittsburgh and Boston, mostly involving Manny Ramirez and prospects leaving, and Jason Bay or Jeremy Hermida and prospects coming. Will Carroll, as of 9:03, is confirming Manny to Miami, Hermida to Pittsburgh, and Bay to Boston, with various prospects changing hands, plus John Grabow, a middle reliever from (I think) Pittsburgh going to Boston. The prospects, apparently, are not yet final, so nothing is set in stone yet.

On the field, Josh has another attack of gopheritis, as Boston drops yet another game to the Angels, 9-2. I've said this before, and I hope I'm wrong, but the wheels seem like they are coming off the cart now. This team, I fear, is not quite good enough to repeat as World Series Champions. Too many holes, and not enough answers. We have gaping wounds at catcher and center field, and a seeping wound at shortstop.


I have to go back to work tomorrow, and I don't get another day off until Tuesday.


Most importantly...

I got to see the only boy who matters, so here are the latest pictures of Captain Cuteness, the Admiral of Adorable. The first one is Sir Softandcuddly reviewing a very important document, the list of Thomas trains that he will ask me to buy him as soon as he learns to talk.

Holy Tools of Ignorance

Wow. According to Buster Olney, the Yankees have traded Kyle Farnsworth for Ivan Rodriguez.

Really? You're trading Ivan Rodriguez, and you get KYLE FARNSWORTH? Seriously? Not even a gift basket?

I hope they got more than that for Ivan Freaking Rodriguez. I mean, he's old, and all, but GEEZ! Kyle Farnsworthless for a HOF lock catcher? That's a major, major upgrade for the Yankees at very low cost.

Hopefully, Boston has something in reserve, but I doubt it.

Depressing Source Code

Adam Curry's Daily Source Code was brilliant, though depressing, today. (

More and more, George Carlin's prophecy, "This country was bought and paid for years ago," seems truer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not so Hot

I've been running a little bit of a fever, which explains why I was so anxious to hit the hay last night. Having a body sucks.

Well, not only did we hold on to lose last night, 7-5, we nearly get no hit today. John Lackey takes a no hitter into the ninth, before our boy DP singles and then Youk bounces one of the AAA sign for the 6-2 loss.


Tampa wins, but the Yankees lose, leaving us 2 games back of the Naughty Fish, and 2 up on the Mighty Yankees.

What the hell is wrong? I don't know. Maybe the Angels are just that good. They just traded for Teixiera, too. They gave up Kotchman, who is a fine little player, but he isn't Mark Teixeira.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Liveblogging II: Maicer Izturis sucks.

Top Three

Figgins grounds a single into right field

Oops. Kotchman pops the ball up, and Figgins is caught off of first for a double play.

I've got a question-why no infield fly rule?

Dice K goes upstairs, and Izturis flies out to left to end the inning.

Bottom Three

Varitek breaks his bat and lines out softly to first.

Ellsbury fouls out to third.

Pedroia grounds out. Where the hell did last night's offense go?

Top Four

Bad Vlad grounds out.

Hunter grounds out

A guy who used to be Garrett Anderson flew out.

Bottom Four

Youk walks

Papi laces a double up the gap, Youk to third.

I was wrong about the infield fly-you CAN advance on an infield fly, at your own risk. You just so seldom want to.

Manny slices a clean single to center, scoring both runners.

Truly a Bad Man.

Big Mike Lowell pops out.

JD walks.

Big Jed lines into a DP, trapping Manny off second to end the inning. Nothing he could do.

Top FIve

Kendrick pops out.

According to ESPN Trade Rumors, Boston is talking about Miguel Tejada. Much as I don't like rooting for a Mitchell report guy, that is an intriguing thought.

Dice K dials it up and strikes out Rivera on high heat.

Dice Man dials it up again and gets Mathis, swinging.

Bottom Five

Varitek doubles

Ellsbury grounds out, Varitek to third.

Steve Phillips is nattering about Productive Outs. Please stop.

Pedroia strikes out-Weaver changed speeds and DP was way out in front.

Youk chases a high hard one, and strikes out swinging. Nice piece of pitching by Mr. Weaver the Younger.

Top Six

Chone (sp?) takes two breaking pitches for strikes, and then two outside fastballs for balls. Come ON, Dice!

And then he walks him. Grumble.

Figgins steals second pretty easily.

And Casey Kotchman plants one in the bullpen. 3-2.

Like I said, strikes suck.

And now Izturis, who I have been mocking all night, slices a ball into the right field corner for a double.

Bad Vlad NAILS a single to Drew in right, Izturis to third.

And then Torii Hunter sends one into ORBIT. Deep over the Wall, over the Volvo sign and onto Lansdowne Street. Fuck.

Ruff Ruffman's favorite pitcher, Justin Masterson, pitching now for Boston.

The guy who used to be Garrett Anderson singles inside (sort of) the third base bag. It looked foul.

Kendrick bounces the ball to DP, who tags Anderson for the first out. An OUT. Is that what they call those?

Rivera gets jammed and fights it off into right center, and Kendrick goes to third.

Mathis lays down a squeeze. A squeeze? Really? Varitek throws to first for the out. 7-2.

Figgins strikes out.

What a disaster.

Bottom Six

Papi walks.

Manny hits the ball 18 miles in the air, but Kendrick comes out with it for an out.

Lowell lines out to left.

Drew lines a single to left center.

Farmer Jed lines a ground rule double that hops into the right field seats, 7-3 Boston.

Arredondo now pitching for Angles.

Varitek walks, loading the bases.

Ellsbury whiffs on the splitter, inning over.

Sigh. I just can't hang anymore. Good night, Gracie. I'll recap in the AM.

Liveblogging Angles@Red Sox 7/28/08

Top One

Chone "Spelled Unlike It Sounds" Figgins against the Dice Man

Fig lines it back up the middle, but Dice snags it for the first out.

Casey "Jones" Kotchman bounces out to first.

High, high pitch counts so far.

Too many breaking balls in the dirt.

Izturis bounces out to second.

Let me get this straight, Maicer Izturis is your third place hitter? Is the varsity not playing today?

Bottom One:

Jered Weaver pitching for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Anaheim of Anaheim of Los Angeles

Our man DP lines out to first.

Youk grounds out to short.

Papi slices it the other way, lining out to left.

Top Two:

Big Bad Vlad serves a single into short right center.

Torii "Die Hard The" Hunter lines a sharp single into left center.

Then again, throwing strikes isn't all its cracked up to be.

The player that used to be Garrett Anderson lofts an easy fly to left.

Howie Kendrick now. (You have Howie Kendrick, Torii Hunter, and Garrett Anderson, and you bat Maicer Izturis third?)

Kendrick walks. Sigh.

Juan Rivera now. Rivera sends a fly into the right field corner, scoring Guerrero.

Jeff Mathis flies out to center.

That's not as bad as it could have been, though he really needs to throw more damn strikes.

Bottom Two:

Manny strikes out looking.

Big Mike Lowell sends a bloop to left field that somehow finds turf for a hit.

Drew flies out to center.

Strike three called to Lowrie. Both this call and the one on Manny are questionable.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Liveblogging IV

Top Seven-

Damon pops out, Jeter strikes out.

Wow. Nice, efficient work.

Abreu grounds out.

Wow. Nice work, against three tough hitters.

Joe Sheehan agrees with me that Tabata is a huge, huge gamble for the Pirates-massive upside- he is the kind of player the Yankees usually want to hang onto until he matures into Derek Jeter. Dealing him could be a Larry Andersen deal for New York. If Tabata is winning batting titles five years from now, we'll say "Who was that lefty New York got for him?"

Bottom Seven-
Moeller now catching for New York.
Drew flies out.
Varitek flies out.
Cora singles.
Ellsbury singles.
Pedroia flies out.

Top 8

Metropolitan District Commission gives up a base hit to Kabbalah Man.
Nady hits into a nice, pretty 6-4-3 DP.

Jon Miller reveals that former Red Sox C Russ Gibson died today.

RC Cola flies out to end it.

On Sportscenter tonight: What makes Yankees/Red Sox so bitter? 1949, 1978, and 2003, for starters!

Bottom 8-Betemit now playing at short. Is Jeter hurt? He hasnt looked like himself today.

Youkilis flies out.

Papi flies out.

Manny flies out.

Joe Morgan will be back next week? That's disappointing. Steve Phillips annoys me much less than Joe Morgan.

Mike Timlin on now. Even he can probably protect a 7 run lead.
Jed Lowrie at third for Lowell. Probably, like Jeter, just giving the old man a few innings off.

Top Nine-
Sexson Machine grounds out.
Cabrera flies out DEEP to center.
Moeller grounds out, and that's all.

Nice win, and one we desperately needed.

Ten hits, but Lester made pitches when he had to.

I have to go to work in the morning, so that's all from here.

G'Night, Y'All.

Liveblogging III

Top Four-

Mr. Ciccone hits one hard down the left field line for a clean double.
Professor X whiffs.
RC Cola blisters one up the middle and is retired at first, AFraud to third.
Lester is dealing-95+, up, hard stuff.
Sexson strikes out looking to end the frame. NICE!

Bottom Four-

Ellsbury grounds out, and then Our Man DP smokes one down the third base line for a two bagger. Memo to Girardi-the Red Sox are pulling your pitcher. Might one think about moving thy third baseman closer to the line? Then again, that would expose the fact that Derek Jeter is not the defensive superhero everyone thinks he is.

Youk grounds out, bringing Papi to the plate.

And PAPI CRANKS one into the bleachers in right for a 2 run JACK. Woot! David Ortiz FTW!

Manny rips another one, but the Melkman runs it down in the triangle for the third out.

Top Five-

Melky scalds one into rightcenter for a hit.

Molina sneaks a roller through the middle for another single.

Another jam. Jon Lester knows from jams.

Damon serves one into left for another hit.

Now, we have a REAL jam. Grade A #1 Problem here.

Yeah, it's 7-0, but this team can shorten that in a hurry.

Jeter rolls one down the third base line, and it rolls and rolls and rolls but stays fair, and then it's too late to get anyone. 7-1.

Abreu now, and Lester falls behind, 3-0. Jeez. C'mon, Jon.

Abreu walks, driving in a run. Sigh.

ARod NAILS one, but it's right at Lowell for the first out. Phew.

Metropolitan District Commission is warming up for Boston.

Professor X now. Nady flies out to center, too shallow, and Damon holds at third. He probably could have scored. The throw was lousy.

RC Cola now. Gets him on a comebacker to end it. Well, that could have been a LOT worse.

Bottom Five

Dan Giese pitching now, and Lowell pops out for the first out.

Tampa lost today, so a Boston win brings them to 1 game out.

JD takes a walk, which is all he's good for the last week or so.

Drew steals second (?) on a sleepwalking Giese.

Varitek flies to DEEP right, enough to let Drew move to third.

Cora pops out to end the inning.

Key questions:

What the hell is up with Tek, Drew, Ellsbury? And our middle relief? They all have live arms, why the hell cant they get anybody out?

Top Six

Sexson Machine strikes out swinging.

The Melkman strikes out swinging.

Flying Molina Brother now. He flies out, nice and clean to JD, and Lester cruises out of the sixth. Does he answer the bell for the seventh?

Now, let's get six or seven more, boys.

Bottom Six

Jacoby drills a single to right. Boy, if he heats up, that can only help.

DP laces one, but its right at Melky for the first out.

Youkilis hits a hard single to left, and Ellsbury runs right in front of Nady, sneaking into third. Daring play with one out, but Jacoby is fast like that.

Papi hits a ball to deep, deep right, and Ellsbury glides home. Youkilis to second.

8-2, two out, Manny Being Manny up.

Manny pounds a single to short left, and Youk comes home, scoring on a close play.

Nady makes a good throw, and Molina makes the tag, but he's safe. Gutty play.

9-2. Lowell flies out, inning over.

Well, I'll take two.

Liveblogging-Sparta @ Athens Part II

Bottom Two

Varitek strikes out, continuing his descent into the Chasm of Awful.

Alex "Joey" Cora singles. Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been another resident of the Land of the Dead, doubles Cora to third, where our man DP gets him home on a fly to medium center field.

Youk strikes out to end the inning.

Top three

Molina III: Revenge of the Sith punches one into short left for a base hit.

Judas beats out an infield single.

Captain America grounds into a DP, 4-6-3, Molina to third. Cora was nowhere near the second base bag. I hate that call, but everybody makes it, so I guess I can't bitch when it helps my boys.
And then Abreu whiffs on another high hard one to get out of the jam. Nice piece of pitching.

Interesting piece by Peter Gammons about the managing job Girardi has done to get back into the race. He has been through a lot, thats true. You have to give some props to him for getting this team back into the race.

Papi grounds out softly to second.

Manny jerks one straight down the left field line for another double.

Trade THIS, bitches.

Big Mike lines out to center.

Drew walks, and then Varitek serves a double into short left, scoring Manny. Cora pops out to end the inning and now its 5-0.

Liveblogging-Sparta @ Athens 7/27/08

Top First

Lester pitching for Boston

Lester paints the outside corner with a pretty roundhouse curve to get Judas Damon looking.

Captain Amazing takes Ellsbury back against the Granite City sign in left center on a 3-1 pitch for a long flyout.

Bobby Abreu slashes a ball into the gap and sneaks into second for a Fenway double.

Mr. Ciccone turns on a ball, driving it hard into the corner, but Manny runs it down for the thirs out.

Never easy. I am going to be up until past midnight, aren't I?

Early verdict on those "Steve" commercials on ESPN: Stupid. They can be so funny and clever, and then sometimes I

Bottom First

Our Main Man DP greets Ponson with a line shot back up the middle for a base hit

Youk grounds into a force, eliminating DP.

Papi yanks the ball through the shift, Youk to third just barely beating a throw by Abreu.

ManRam slashes a ball off of the Mass Lottery sign in right center for a two bagger, scoring Youk.

Big Mike Lowell singles in two runs, and then gets cut down sliding into second base for the second out.

JD grounds out to end the inning.

Interesting take on the Edwards "scandal" on gawker.

This is the National Enquirer we're talking about here. But, as has been pointed out on Slate and elsewhere, it appears that no part of the story has been refuted yet. It seems obvious that the MSM should at least ask the question and make him deny it.

Top Second: Professor Xavier lines out softly to third.

RC, who is hotter than the surface of the Sun, goes way down low to ground out sharply to first.

Sexson Machine drops one into short right for a single.

The Melkman swings at a 96 MPH fastball up in his face for strike three. Jon is rocking it.

Your problem or my problem?

It's raining in Boston, but ESPN says they are due to start soon. The finale of the so far disastrous Yankee series in Boston. And, to top it all off, we have those Angles coming in right behind them. Great.

John Kruk suggests Boston trade Manny for Pat Burrell of Philadelphia. Sorry, we have a malcontent left fielder who has the range of a post office building.

Orel Hershiser says on the pregame that the Yankees have "their swagger" back. Whatever that means. They do seem to be firing on all cylinders now, as you kind of knew they would again. But they are starting Sidney Ponson, so not all is lost for us.

The way we've been hitting, though, Ponson is exactly the sort of pitcher who can kick our ass. Veteran, knows how to pitch, and if he's on, can move the ball around and use his defense.

Maybe, I have to admit to myself, this isn't our year. Supposedly, the Yankees are about to deal more of their youngsters for Jarrod Washburn, so that will further give us an advantage over them in the future.

Manny made the news again, admitting to ESPN that he would accept a trade if Boston made one. It's hard to picture them getting equal value, and yet it is also hard to see how he has that much value. He's immobile, not always mentally there, and a clubhouse distraction. Yet when he's hot, he's a dangerous, dangerous Bad Man. Is he worth the trouble he brings?

I still don't know.